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OHL: Liam Foudy (2018 Draft Eligible)

The London Knights were active at the trade deadline moving their top four players who had received NHL ELC contracts. This opened up an opportunity for Liam Foudy and he has exploded as of late. Brock Otten provides a detailed breakdown of his game below.

A note on the 20-80 scale used below. We look at five attributes (skating, shooting, puck skills, hockey IQ and physicality) for skaters and six for goalies (athleticism/quickness, compete/temperament, vision/play reading, technique/style, rebound control and puck handling). Each individual attribute is graded along the 20-80 scales, which includes half-grades. The idea is that a projection of 50 in a given attribute meant that our observer believed that the player could get to roughly NHL average at that attribute at maturity.

Liam Foudy of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Liam Foudy of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Liam Foudy 2018 NHL Draft Eligible
Position: C, Shoots: L H/W: 6-1", 185lbs
Stats to Date: (GP-G-A-PTS-PIMS) London Knights, OHL (59-23-15-38-22)

Skating: Foudy needs to be considered as one of the best and quickest skaters of any forward eligible this year. This was put on display at the CHL Top Prospects’ Game combine where Foudy finished in the top three, in three out of four on ice skating specific categories (30M forward skate, 30M forward skate with puck, 30M backward skate with puck). Not too often you see a forward do THAT well in the backward skate portions and it showcases his overall mobility to go with his explosive first few strides. He gains top speed within only a few strides and is able to blow by defenders with relative ease, especially in the neutral zone as he gains confidence leading the rush (especially on the powerplay). He also has fantastic edgework which allows him to change direction at top speed, adding to his allusiveness. Teammate Alex Formenton is about as an explosive skater as you can find, and Foudy is right there with him, wreaking havoc on opposing defenses. Grade: 65

Shot: One area of Foudy’s game that has really improved over the course of the season is his confidence in his shot. Looks to push back opposing defenses with his speed, and with the room, rip off a solid wrist shot coming off the wing or cutting to the middle. He also shows improving hands in close to finish off plays in tight. As we move forward, the continued development of his shot will be one of the keys to his potential as an offensive player. Are we looking at an Andreas Athanasiou or Mike Gartner type of player? Grade: 55

Skills: The one thing I have really been impressed with is Foudy’s ability to control the puck at top speed and his creativity in transition. Early on in the year, we were not seeing any of this from him as he played a depth role for the Knights. But post trade deadline, he has exploded with first line ice time and his confidence is brimming. It seems like every time you watch London play lately, he has 2 or 3 electrifying end to end rushes, weaving through opposing defenses as if they were pylons. As he further gains confidence and gets stronger, he could be an absolutely dynamic one on one player who could beat you with speed and puck skill consistently. Grade: 55

Smarts: Given the relatively small sample size of Foudy playing key minutes, this is the area that will probably be most heavily debated. At this point I like his anticipation and vision in the offensive end. He picks his spots well to take chances to use his speed and rarely turns the puck over in the neutral zone. Has formed great chemistry with fellow 2018 draft eligibles Billy Moskal and Nathan Dunkley and the three work well together in the offensive end, extending possession and creating chances. Drafted out of minor midget as a center, he now plays the wing to simplify things for him. Does he have the playmaking ability and two-way awareness to slide back to center eventually? That’s a question that remains to be seen. Right now, this grade is conservative but could easily increase as he develops as a player. Grade: 50

Physicality: Earlier, I mentioned the development of Foudy’s shot being one of the keys to unlocking his true potential. The other is the development of his physicality, intensity, and overall effectiveness without the puck. One of the main reasons why he was not standing out earlier in the season was that he looked timid while playing through traffic and was not suited to play the checking line role that London brass was asking of him. Now being relied upon to create offense consistently, he has taken off. It is important that we do not forget the struggles he faced trying to play more of a shutdown/energy type of game. With his speed, he should be an absolute force on the forecheck. But that part of his game is inconsistent. He has grown a lot as a penalty killer, but 5 on 5, he has not shown that same intensity without the puck. I would also like to see him attack the middle of the ice with more consistency and look to fight off checks for loose pucks. Adding strength this offseason will be key to him being able to take steps forward in these areas. It is also worth mentioning that all of the aforementioned areas have grown by leaps and bounds since the start of the year, including his physicality. Grade: 50

Summary: In his last 15 games (as I write this) Liam Foudy has 14 goals and 21 points. Furthermore, that production has primarily been 5 on 5. With increased ice time, he has absolutely exploded and looks like the next star of the London Knights program. Foudy has some warts, but with his speed and skill, he has the potential to impact the game in a major way.

Overall Future Projection (OFP): 55.25